Jerusalem (Oct. 25)
The prospects for further acquisition of land by the Jewish National Fund are very bad unless the present restrictions on land sales are removed, Dr. Abraham Granovsky, managing director of the Jewish National Fund, declared here.
Addressing a press conference on the eve of his departure for the United States, Dr. Granovsky said that despite the many hindrances, the JNF succeeded in purchasing 340,000 dunams (approximately 85,000 acres) during the war. Citing some of the obstacles placed in its path by the Government, the JNF director said that in “Zone B,” where land sales are permitted with the approval of the authorities, the Government rejected 95 percent of the JNF’s applications, although the prospective Arab sellers pleaded that they needed the money to develop the balance of their holdings.
Discussing Arab efforts to hamper the sale of land to Jews, Granovsky stated that the “El Umma” fund, which was established as a sort of Arab JNF, has only purchased 10,000 dunams. However, he stressed that ultra-nationalist groups are using terror in an attempt to prevent Arabs from selling their land, and one Arab middleman was recently murdered.
The JNF board of directors have drawn up a budget totalling $37,500,000 for the current year, he said. Most, but not all of this, is expected to come from contributions raised abroad, of which the Jews in the United States furnish 60 percent. Grenovsky praised the JNF in America for constantly increasing its collections. He said that one of the chief reasons he is going to the United States is to discuss a plan to raise a great sum of money in cooperation with private enterprises.